Get voting and help Suffolk charity Musica win £50k of National Lottery funding

George Fothergill and Tim Ainslie of Musica. Picture: SAM DAWES

George Fothergill and Tim Ainslie of Musica. Picture: SAM DAWES - Credit: Archant

Suffolk-based charity Musica is asking you to take two minutes out of your life to change somebody else’s forever.

It’s one of five groups across the Anglia East area competing for a share of up to £150,000 of National Lottery funding as part of this year’s People’s Project.

Co-founded by Tim Ainslie and George Fothergill in 2010, it provides music workshops for people of all ages affected by disability, ill health, poverty and isolation.

Now in its 13th year, the Big Lottery Fund, ITV / STV and the National Lottery have shortlisted 95 community-based schemes across the UK. The three who get the most public votes from each region receive grants of up to £50,000. The national pot up for grabs totals £3million.

Mr Fothergill said: “We’re grown over the years but we’re not a big charity. This would make a massive difference to Musica but more importantly to the people we work with and every vote counts.”

The charity, which currently survives from one funding bid to the next, would use the money to continue its Hidden Harmonies project; delivering a series of 50 workshops, working with 10 community hubs and more than 500 people across Suffolk.

Participants will compose and record their own music with the help of staff. Musica has also commissioned Summer Isle Films to make a film of the individuals’ progess. The project ends with a concert and film premiere for family, friends and the public; helping build bridges and awareness that those with additional needs are capable of great things.

Mr Ainslie added: “It would take off the pressure and mean we can work for a year straight with all the people who need help the most. For some people it’s simply about having fun, escapism from other areas of their life right through to somebody who ends up having a career in music.”

Voting opens at 9am today and closes at noon on April 30. You can vote by visiting or sending a postcard to Freepost THE PEOPLE’S PROJECTS which must include your name, address, phone number and the name of the project voted for, in this case Hidden Harmonies. You can contact Musica directly for a pre-addressed post card by calling 07899 980524, 07733 386247 or 07813 001158.

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Jean Cooke, team manager of Leading Lives, said: “When the Musica team have done workshops for the customers at our community hub, it’s like they make the sun shine. Everyone is walking taller and looking happy with big smiles on their faces.

“This is also a topic of chatter and conversion for days and weeks later. Music plays such a big part in their lives and is very inclusive to every ability. It gives everyone the opportunity to take part in whatever way that they can and they love it.”

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